Asthma is one of the most common diseases among people of all ages. It is a chronic lung disease that creates difficulty in breathing by inflaming and narrowing the airways that carry air to and from lungs. Asthma causes the airways to get swollen and makes it sensitive to irritations which causes an inflammation. Common symptoms of asthma includes but not limited to wheezing (a whistling sound produced while breathing), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. In a person suffering from asthma, these symptoms frequently occur at the night and in the early morning. Since asthma is incurable, it is necessary that the patient take the proper medications as prescribed by their doctor. It is also important that the patient take the medications properly and in accordance to the doctor’s instructions. Otherwise, they are at risk of an asthmatic attack.
The root cause of asthma is not understood. However, various researches believe that both a combination of genetic and environmental factors are causes of asthma. Some of the causes and or risk factors of asthma are as follows:
- It can be genetic. If parents are suffering from asthma, then the risk of their children developing asthma will increase.
- Early childhood lung infections can increase the risk of having asthma later in life.
- Second hand smoke can exacerbate an asthmatic attack and can increase the risk of someone developing asthma.
- Allergic asthma can also develop in the presence of allergens.
There are many symptoms which indicate that a person is suffering from asthma. Some of the common symptoms of asthma are:
- Coughing at night
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness, a feeling of congestion, pain, or pressure in the chest
People suffering from asthma can have their symptom exacerbated when they come in contact with triggers. The patients should avoid contact with such triggers including:
- Allergens from dust, animal fur, pollens from flowers, mold, etc.
- Irritants including cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, dust, or compounds in home decor products.
- Sulfites found in foods and drinks
- Medicines including aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers
- Viral upper respiratory infections, such as colds
- Physical activity, including exercise
Since asthma is incurable, it is necessary for patients take basic precautions to control the disease and prevent symptomatic attacks. This includes the following:
- Have complete information about asthma and learn ways to control it.
- Take medication on time as prescribed by the doctor.
- Take proper diet and follow asthma action plan as outlined by the doctor.
- Avoid physical activities that exacerbates an asthmatic attack.
- See you physician regularly regarding your asthma